Holi is festival of colour fights, pranks and fun

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By Neena Badhwar

Happy Holi to you all!

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Festivals of India are a colourful, social interaction with a lot of excitement as Diwali is associated with fire crackers and lighting candle and diyas while Dusshera with burning the effigy of demon Ravana in a mela atmosphere. And we come back home having eaten all the goodies and snacks sold at food stalls. An enactment of Ram Lila is done at the feet of over a 100 foot effigy as the naughty Lord Hanuman’s character teases his opponents while the final arrow by Lord Rama pierces through the effigy as it goes up in smoke along with lots of fire crackers stuffed in it. Children and the families that go to Dussehra Mela love the festival for all what it offers.

And the most cheeky and colourful festival is the festival of ”˜Holi’ as people get into a mood to muck around and colour their near and dear ones in such a way that no one can recognize each other. The wife cannot a husband and vice versa and children just love the spirit of Holi and throwing colours at each other. After the whole day of colours and mischief, even drinking ”˜Bhang’ by some who specially sit and grind and mix ”˜thandai’ – a drink which helps to relax and enjoy as holi camp fire and sitting and singing holi songs is organised in the neighbourhood. Sweets such as ‘Gujjia’ and ‘Balu Shahi are served in a merry mood.  Holi is a festival of ”˜letting go’ ”“ a day of forgiving and forgetting past differences and ”˜gale milo’ meaning embracing not just friends but ”˜your enemies too’ and start the year afresh.

There are many legends and stories like the story of Bhagat Prahlad and Holika his aunt how she had the boon of blessing of ”˜Fire God’ that the fire will not destroy her. Since her brother King Hirnayakashyap wanted to kill Prahlada who would not pay obeisance to his king father but only the Almighty in the heavens above that Holika decided to sit Prhalad in her lap and be burnt in fire. With the aim that while she would escape from fire due to her boon her nephew Prahlad would perish. But of course the opposite happened as the legend goes.

Another legend is about Lord Krishna.

Lord Krishna has often been portrayed as a naughty prankster in his childhood and a lover-boy in his youth. His beloved Radha and the cowherd girls ‘Gopis’ in general loved him even more for his pranks and eve teasing. The Holi of Braj is famous all over India for its intimate connection with the divine deities and their love plays. It is said that when Krishna was a young boy, he asked the reason for his dark color while Radha was so fair. His mother Yashoda playfully suggested that he should smear color on Radha’s face too and change her complexion to any color he wanted. Captivated by the idea, Krishna proceeded to do so and thus, introduced the play of colors on Holi.

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Holi at Banke Bihari Temple in Brindavan, India

Even today, Holi is one of the most important festival of Braj, where the men of Nandgaon and women of Barsana play ‘latthmar Holi’ in the remembrance of the playful throw of colors by Krishna on ‘Gopis’ and their resistance. The trace of eroticism and romance pervades Holi as depicted in the love plays of Krishna and Radha. In Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul and Barsana, Holi is a two-week long festival featuring play of colors, folk songs called ‘Hori’, folk dances such as Raas-Lila, staging the various aspects of Radha and Krishna’s love.

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Holi is colour, fun, excitement, pranks and friendship as it teaches us to forget and forgive and give up any ill feeling we may harbor and move on. And no hooliganism…please.


Pinku(Rinku Se): Kya Baat Hai Aaj Khile Khile Lag Rahe Ho?

Rinku: Majboori Thi Yaar!

Pinku: Kya Thi Majboori?

Pinku: Yaar Holi Pe Logo Ne Itne Rang Laga Diye Ke Nahana Pad Gaya!

Warna Maine Toh Baisakhi Ke Mele ke liye Nahana Tha!


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